Thursday, October 14, 2004


Sunrise or Sunset?

View of the Debate from the Arizona Republic:

But the debate at Gammage was not a bloodless academic contest dictated by style and scored like a ball game. It was a demonstration of which of two men would best do what every wise leader since Franklin D. Roosevelt has done: Challenge Americans to rise beyond their difficulties.

Bush did that. For all the havoc a tax cut plays on a federal deficit that Congress (and, in fairness, the president) is unwilling to manage, the economy fares far better when government puts more money in the hands of the people earning it. That is Bush's view, which he expressed forcefully.

The American condition fares far better, too, when tough issues like illegal immigration are viewed - as Bush said he views them - as human-rights matters as well as questions of security.

Bush's comment about God and freedom was a point about Iraq, certainly. But it also fairly describes Bush's view of undocumented immigrants in this country, the one position expressed by the president that recalled the "compassionate conservatism" of his 2000 campaign.

In contrast, Kerry's view of conditions on the American ground is grim. There seems to be nothing that Bush cannot be blamed for in John Kerry's world.

Kerry's vision of America as expressed in the debate is one of oppression and victimization. His assessment that there are public schools for those "who have" and schools for those who "do not have" is a judgment seemingly buried in pre-Brown vs. Board of Education. Is there no room for acknowledgment of any good thing?

Personally, I think I like Bush's view best...why would we want a president who thinks America is Evil to run the country?

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